By Ivan Pereira
The brother of the Forest Hills orthodontist who was gunned downed in a hit allegedly orchestrated by his ex-wife is taking Dr. Daniel Malakov’s accused killers to civil court to seek financial compensation on behalf of the dead dentist’s daughter.
Mazoltuv Borukhova, Malakov’s ex-wife, and her uncle have been indicted on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the murder and are awaiting a joint trial in Queens Criminal Court.
Gavril Malakov, the victim’s younger brother, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Borukhova and the uncle in the Oct. 28, 2007 shooting, according to Florence Fass, the family law attorney representing Borukhova.
Fass revealed during a hearing Wednesday at Queens Family Court that the suit had been filed on Oct. 15. She contended that the suit had no merit because Gavril Malakov was acting on behalf of Borukhova’s 5-year-old daughter Michelle, who is currently living with Gavril. He was named her foster parent in April.
“For a foster parent to sue a mother in the name of her own daughter is just plain stupid,” Fass said outside the courtroom.
Gavril Malakov, an Uzbek immigrant like his brother, was not at the hearing and could not be reached for comment and his attorney Arkady Frekhtman did not immediately return phone calls. David Schnall, Michelle’s law guardian, said he was not aware of the lawsuit and could not comment.
Daniel Malakov, 34, was shot twice in the chest last year as he was dropping off Michelle at the Annadale Playground to visit her mother, Borukhova, 35. Daniel Malakov had gained custody of the girl from his ex-wife days before his death following a bitter custody dispute.
Uzbek immigrants Borukhova and Mikhail Mallayev, her distant uncle, are awaiting a murder and conspiracy trial that is tentatively scheduled to begin Jan. 26 with Gavril set to testify against the pair, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Gavril’s suit in State Supreme Court alleges Borukhova “asked, demanded and/or hired” Mallayev, 50, to kill Daniel Malakov. The court papers contend Mallayev “intentionally, recklessly and/or carelessly” caused Malakov’s death.
The suit seeks an undisclosed monetary damages for “conscious pain and suffering” that Michelle and Gavril Malakov have had to deal with since the murder and for fees relating to funeral, burial and estate taxes, according to court documents.
Fass told Family Court Judge Linda Tally that the suit provided evidence that Gavriel Malkov is not the best person to take care of Michelle. But the judge quickly dismissed Fass’s argument, saying the foster parent had a legal right to file the lawsuit and any arguments related to it should be expressed in civil court.
“The court is really concerned about the well-being of the child — not your client,” Tally told Fass.
Mallayev was arrested three weeks after the murder when the police matched his fingerprints to prints found on a makeshift silencer abandoned at the playground by the shooter. Detectives arrested Borukhova in February after they found she had made more than 90 phone conversations with her uncle in the weeks leading up to the shooting but only two following it.
Prosecutors claim she hired Mallayev to come to Queens from his home in Atlanta and shoot Daniel Malakov in revenge for winning the custody battle. If convicted, both face up to life in prison without parole, according to prosecutors.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.